Lame-Duck Obama’s Last Hurrah
US President Barack Obama is rumored to be planning a lame-duck anti-Israel move after the election of his successor Tuesday, and before handing over of his White House keys in January. In other words, there is reason to believe that the outgoing leader-from-behind of the free world is set to recognize a Palestinian state.
Though, as the Syrian civil war proves, bolstering one party to a conflict does not always translate directly into attacking the other, in the case of Jerusalem vs. Ramallah, the dichotomy is crystal clear.
By now, only extremists refuse to acknowledge that Hamas, the terrorist organization running Gaza – while running it into the ground — is not a statehood-yearning entity willing to forfeit its aim of annihilating all infidels in its path, Israel chief among them.
But there are still many diehard two-state-solution seekers, both in Israel and abroad, who cannot relinquish the fantasy that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party – the guys ruling the West Bank – are still potential partners. Even those who blast the PA for inciting youth to violence; denying Israel’s ties to the Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem; and now launching a campaign to sue Britain for the 100-year-old Balfour Declaration — which expressed support for the Zionist enterprise, well before the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 — conclude that it is “urgent” to create a Palestinian state. And that Israeli settlements are an obstacle to that imperative.
These pundits and politicians refuse to give up on an idea that was always inherently flawed and has continually shown itself to be delusional. It is sad that this bears repeating, but there is nothing that has been offered or given by Israel to the Palestinians that has made a dent in their desire to rid the area of Jews. Indeed, if it were official statehood they were after – they already possess de facto independence – they could have had it long ago.
For his part, Abbas is particularly averse to such a solution, since it would immediately rob him of the only thing that has kept him relevant in the world – the perpetual cry for statehood in international forums and the ability to accuse Israel of crimes it did not commit.
One phenomenon the peace camp highlights in order to illustrate that there is actually much behind-the-scenes cooperation going on between Israel and the Palestinians is the assistance of PA security forces in “thwarting” terrorism. Never mind that this is a contradiction in terms, because there would be no terrorism in the first place if the leadership did not encourage and support it. Of course, Fatah is happy to apprehend, arrest and even kill Hamas operatives – as Hamas is keen to do the same to its Fatah rivals. But helping Israel prevent and combat the slaughter of Jews has nothing to do with it.
In this realm, too, however, the Palestinian “police” – which is actually more like a para-military force – has been showing its true colors. Take this week’s shooting attack, perpetrated by Muhammad Turkman, whom the PA proudly identified after his death as a member of its “special forces unit.” Turkman opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle on IDF soldiers manning the Focus checkpoint outside Ramallah, wounding three of them, one seriously.
Before the blood at the scene even had a chance to dry, Turkman was hailed on Fatah’s official Facebook page and Twitter account as a “heroic martyr of the Palestinian Security Forces.”
As Palestinian Media Watch reported, photos of Turkman were posted with captions praising him for carrying out the “shooting operation.”
Simultaneously, Turkman’s family insisted that the only reason he committed the act was that Israeli security forces had come to interrogate him earlier in the day. In other words, Turkman was not only a hero; he was also a victim. It’s a neat trick the Palestinians frequently employ.
Last week, after PMW reported on the naming of a PA school after a mastermind of the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics – and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arabic-language spokesman Ofir Gendelman tweeted about it – the district governor of Tulkarm, a PA official, defended the move.
“The occupation is deluded if it thinks that the Palestinian people can change its culture and forget its leaders, Martyrs Yasser Arafat…and a great number of the fighters who sacrificed their blood for the freedom, independence, and establishment of the independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem,” Issam Abu Bakr was quoted declaring by the Ma’an news agency.
If President Obama’s lame-duck period includes honoring such animals by granting them even greater ill-deserved legitimacy, his last hurrah against Israel will be a loud one. If Hillary Clinton ends up taking his place in the Oval Office, the cacophony will be overwhelming
Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.